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Cycling Under the Weather; Feeling the Need for Speed

I rode 52-ish miles with my friends Sunday morning. After struggling with the vaccine flu much of the week, our CFO gave me a gift of a mild case of the sniffles, which, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t have been an issue – I doubt I’d have even gotten sick. Being drained from my body’s vociferous reaction to the vaccine, though, that case of the sniffles hit me hard. I was feeling pretty gnarly afterward.

Yesterday was another day, though. I woke up in a pool of my own sweat in the morning, so I figured I’d sweat it out the night before. I felt reasonably okay much of the day, though I faded as the day wore on. I made my way home a little early and managed a 15 minute nap before suiting up and that helped a lot. I rolled off down the road to pick Chuck up at 4:50, hoping I’d get to his house for the extra miles, but he met me about 3/4s of a mile up my street. I was feeling considerably better, but riding tends to run me down pretty quick of late and that usually means a rough night of sleep.

The plan was pretty simple; a nice, enjoyable 20-miler at a “Tuesday Night is tomorrow so let’s chill” pace. And that lasted for about two miles. I can’t remember if it was Chuck or me who took the pace up first, but it got hot in a hurry. I was on the Venge and it’s an absolute missile this year. Low and sleek in the front end, the Fast & Light 50 wheels… it’s just fast, solid and a wonder of perfectly solid craftsmanship. All of a sudden, we’re seven miles in looking at a 19.2-mph average and I start thinking, “Wait a minute… tomorrow’s TUESDAY NIGHT“.

I mentioned as much to Chuck and we both decided to dial it back considerably. While I struggled with being a little under the weather, the ride was fantastic and the conditions were spectacular (light breeze out of the south, partly cloudy, and room temperature).

And I paid for it last night. Worth it.

So, I don’t know if I’m going to head out to Lennon or not. I’m not 100% (hell, I’m not 80%), but there’s that need for speed that simply must be satisfied. Maybe I’ll go out and see how it goes… I’ll give it my best and if 80% isn’t good enough, I can simply slip off the back and take it home at my leisure. That’s probably how it’ll go.

One thing is for sure; I’ve had about enough of being sick for the next five or six years!

The Waning Tendrils of My Vaccine Flu… I Actually Took My Toy and Went Home Yesterday!

My vaccine flu is hanging on… you know what, it’s Easter, I’m not saying anything bad about anything. Let’s just say, it won’t let go. I’ve been off Tylenol for a couple of days, and I feel like my normal self the vast majority of the time, there are simply periods of time where, as good as I may feel, it’s just enough to let me know I’m not quite over the finish line yet.

Friday night was an interesting night of sleep for me. I rode Friday evening with Chucker and it was quite chilly. On finishing the ride, after feeling reasonably good all day, the chills started when I got in the shower. Then the sweating, then the pain hit (though the pain wasn’t near as intense as it had been days ago). I slept like a rock till 2 am when I woke, took a couple of Tylenol, then sat on the couch to watch a movie, figuring I’d be up the rest of the night. I fell asleep on the couch and didn’t wake up till 7am (!) and I felt good.

I was nervous about the days’ ride, though. We were going to do 62-1/2 miles and it was going to start out chilly but warm up a little over the few hours we’d be out riding. The wind was strong out of the south southwest – 15-mph (24 km/h). I tried to push the negativity to the back of my mind while I readied the bikes, ate some breakfast, and dressed to roll.

The ride started out ugly (I’m going to refrain from using names to protect the guilty). The lead guy was right on the white line, leaving no draft for the six behind. He went off the front almost immediately and the rest of us formed up so we would get a little draft. Another took a mile, then I did before falling back. At the back, one of the guys was literally riding the white line. No draft. The guy in front of him was a bike and a half off the others… I simply jumped the two of those guys and cut in line. I was fourth bike now. This kind of thing happens regularly until the group forms up. Under normal circumstances, it’s really not that big a deal. With the vaccine reaction, I ran thin on patience and energy almost immediately.

Then, one of the guys pulled off the front. Third bike, my wife at the helm. Almost immediately, it was decided to catch the guy off the front. The pace quickened and another guy went around my wife because, apparently, he didn’t think she was catching up fast enough. Second bike. In a quarter-mile I went from last bike to second without any rest.

I didn’t even say anything. I checked my radar, then up the road, and pulled out of the line. I turned around and said something to one of the guys and headed for home.

Originally, I’d figured I’d ride by myself, but as I hit the first mile south into the wind, I thought better of it. I turned around and went home. I wasn’t going to suffer a relapse in my vaccine reaction riding in that crap. My wife called to find out what happened and I explained that I just didn’t have the energy to deal with that crap.

Twenty minutes later, I was asleep on the couch.

An hour later, I was up, showered, and on my way to the bike shop where I picked up a Varia taillight for my wife, a mount for the light, and a new helmet for me (more on that another post). I felt awesome after my nap but never bothered to go back out for my ride. The sun came out on the way home, though, and the weather went from cool, cloudy and windy, to sunny, windy and quite nice. I took another nap.

I felt great all day, till about 4pm, when I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too nice outside. Sunny, low 60’s (17 C), still windy, but at that temp, who cares?

I prepped my Venge and went for an awesome, solo 22-miler. I shed my arm warmers and my light cap after five miles. Into the wind, I just relaxed and spun the cranks. With a tailwind, I’d pick up the pace, but not by much. I just enjoyed the sun and the ride… and my new helmet, which is amazing.

There was no relapse after the ride. No chills, no shivers, no sweating, and no Tylenol. I ended up with 30 miles on the day and, while I probably could have stayed with the gang, I’m glad I went out on my own. I’m close to back to normal, and I’m glad. I’ve had about enough of this crap! This was only supposed to last two days. It’s been a week.

Anyway, Happy Easter, my friends. And remember, as bad as things can get, it’s not Pontius Pilate bad:

PP: “Hey, what’s up?”

Bob: “Uh, the tomb is empty, and nobody broke in to steal the body of Jesus. It was sealed and stayed sealed, but the body is literally gone.”

PP: “Wait, what?”

Bob: “Yeah.”

PP: “You mean that really was the son of God!? And you losers made me kill him? Oh, $#!+.”

Look at the bright side; It’s never going to be “I killed the son of God” bad.

Back On the Road Again… Though No TNIL Report Today

The weather was quite lovely yesterday, if excessively windy. Actually, it was really windy. I was still feeling a little run down from my vaccine and almost thought about taking the night off riding entirely (it’d been a couple of days, no ride Sunday or Monday). Then I went outside after a nap on the couch which had the affect of making me feel several dozen times better. The sun was shining and it was warm. I prepped the Trek. I thought about the Venge for a minute, but with 20-mph winds and gusts even higher, the Trek was the right bike.

I wasn’t taking the trip up to Lennon, though. First, I didn’t want to fight the wind in a group. Second, I didn’t want to work that hard feeling the way I did. Chuck didn’t want to mess with the wind in the group, either, so he rode with me.

It started out fantastically with crossing tailwind all the way to Chuck’s house. Then, Chuck took the lead heading out of his subdivision and chewed up all the headwind miles. I took over as we headed north, then a loop in a small sub followed by another half-mile north, followed by my only full-mile pull into a headwind for the whole ride.

Chuck and I had been talking regularly over the last few days and he knew I’d been hammered by my first shot and wasn’t feeling well, so he took every headwind mile except that one. He’d just stay up front till we hit a tailwind stretch then he’d fall back so I could take my turn. Folks, that’s a friend right there.

I ended up with 25 miles for the evening at an average pace of 16.8-mph and, while I felt slightly nauseous at times, I did have a smile on my face when I pulled into the driveway. I brought my bike in, uploaded my ride to Strava, found out I’d gotten Strava’d…

Then the chills hit. I was warm but felt like I was freezing. I was petrified that I’d done damage and maybe even set myself back. I shivered through my hot shower. I was just about to curl up in a ball on the couch when… after I dried off and put some fleece pants and my robe, bam. I felt marvelous. Just like that, I warmed up and felt wonderful all evening long.

I did take an Advil Dual Action (acetaminophen plus ibuprofen) before I went to bed – actually, 20 minutes before I laid down… don’t ever take a pain med then lay down for bed right after, supposedly that’s bad for your stomach. Anyway, I did sleep like a baby for a little more than 4-1/2 hours but I woke up a little sore. I went out to the pantry and took a regular Tylenol then fell back asleep in my recliner on the couch.

And here I sit at work, properly medicated, feeling quite good, actually. With temps approaching 50 this afternoon, I’ll have to evaluate how I feel later today. I’d like to get out for an afternoon ride, but I’m not going to push it, either. We’re in for a cold spell tomorrow, followed by a wonderful weekend for cycling. I want to be 100% for that, so I’m not going to mess around with trying to do too much, too fast.

Fingers crossed that I’m through this – I really do feel quite well this morning. Fingers crossed.

The COVID Vaccine Flu; My Experience (Spoiler: It Sucks… But It Beats Dying)

Being an exceptionally healthy fellow, I anticipated an easy time of my first vaccine shot. After the first 24 hours, all I had was a bit of a sore arm. I figured I was in the clear.

I was mistaken.

I felt decent much of Saturday, riding 42 miles with friends in the morning and taking my mom to get her second shot, but as the day wore on, the vaccine caught up with me.

Sunday felt like I’d been hit by a linebacker (I almost went to get tested). I slept most of the day, taking in the neighborhood of five or six naps throughout. Monday was slightly better but I still felt run down and sore all over, though concentrating in the shoulders and I was exceptionally discombobulated. To give you an idea of how bad I was, for those who’ve been following this blog, it was almost 60 degrees (15 C) with a mild breeze, and not a cloud in the sky sunshine. I didn’t go for a bike ride. Monday, having been jabbed Friday evening, was day three. I showed up for work but left for home after 3-1/2 hours. I was too cooked. I napped a couple of times on getting home and spent the entire time on the couch, working or watching TV. I went to bed praying this funk would break overnight. I could only go three hours between Tylenol (one at a time) when my head hit the pillow.

And sure enough, it broke last night. The discombobulation is all but gone, though I’m still feeling worn out. There’s still some soreness, but I’m five or six hours between Tylenol now. I feel better with every passing hour… at least for the time being. With decently warm weather, but high winds in the forecast, I plan on riding tonight though I’m going to skip Lennon and ride by myself. I don’t need to push it that hard right now.

My experience follows a lot of reports. The vaccine either gets you on the first one or the second (sometimes not at all). Many of my friends experienced exactly what I’m reporting here. Now, in terms of actual sickness, how bad was it? Well, I had the flu a couple of years ago, whichever kind was going around, and that was much worse. The down-time was about the same, but with the vaccine flu, I didn’t actually feel sick. Just sore, discombobulated and extremely tired. Some report headaches and a fever, I experienced neither. In fact, my temp yesterday was a healthy 97.4 (36.333 C), my exact running temp, I don’t fluctuate more than a tenth or two either way.

For the record, I received the Moderna vaccine, though friends have reported the same symptoms and duration with Pfizer (without having to worry about a 3 to 4 hour erection – a little Viagra humor).

So, I was absolutely shocked I had such a tough time with the vaccine. I expected to fly through it. However I look at it, though, it sure beats getting the actual virus (or so I assume).

In a study of healthcare workers, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 80% effective in preventing COVID after just the first shot. The success rate shot to 90% after the second. This is fantastic news, and according to the article I read (and linked) it was good to see that they used words like “immune”, not focusing on just “protection”. I’ve got a couple of friends who got their first shot shortly after my wife and I did (an hour or two later). We’re all going to get our second shot together and we’re making it a date and going out to dinner.

Normal is only a few months away, worldwide. Don’t let the doom and gloom bullshit get you down. When it’s your turn, get your shots and give a friend a hug. And don’t be afraid of the vaccine flu – getting the actual virus is worse.

The COVID Vaccine, Exercise & Symptoms; My Experience (Updated)

After being stuck late Friday afternoon with my first vaccine shot (Moderna), I rode my bike 20 miles at an easy pace for me, averaging a touch better than 16.5-mph for a little more than an hour. I felt a couple of minor muscle pains toward the end, a slight stabbing pain in my quad, then one in my forearm – both on the side I was injected. Other than that, for Friday, nothing any different.

I am not the only one of my friends to ride shortly after being stuck, and a friend who happens to be a well-respected pharmacist was one (he rode through both shots).

Saturday was interesting. I woke up with a surprisingly sore arm. That my arm was sore was not the surprise. That’s expected. It was the degree of soreness that was surprising. It was not enough I bothered with pain management (not even a Tylenol). I went about my morning as I would any Saturday with rideable temperatures and sunshine. I prepped my Trek for the chilly start 36 F, or 2 C, but with the sun rising quickly. We’re upping the mileage as spring takes hold and we had a nice route on tap for the morning; 41 miles and some change on what we call the sod farm loop (a favorite of mine). My friends started showing up shortly before 9am and we rolled out with six in our group, picking up two on the road. We managed a lively, enjoyable pace for the course just shy of 19-mph. Other than feeling a little discombooberated (a variant of discombobulated) at times when my heart rate went up with my effort, I felt no ill-effects on the ride other than my sore shoulder.

It was a special day, too. My mother, who lives about 45 minutes from my house, was scheduled for her second shot and, with my sister’s family busy, I was taking her to get it done. I showered immediately on getting home, got ready, slid into my vehicle and headed down to pick her up. I also picked up lunch along the way and ate while my mom was in getting stuck. Shortly after eating, I hit a wall of sorts. I was tired. I almost took a nap in the car but didn’t want to miss my mom coming out. Her second shot was administered at the University of Michigan’s stadium, the Big House – with all of the people roaming around, I just wanted to make sure she found the car because I’d moved to a closer, better parking spot.

Everything went fine and I got my mom back to her car without incident. Then, I got my butt home, where I took a nap. Then I watched some TV… and took another nap. And another. After that third nap it dawned on me, it was the vaccine that had me drained.

My daughters had their boyfriends over in the afternoon and my wife and I cooked dinner for everyone. It was an enjoyable time – my girls choose well.

I watched a movie and one-quarter before wanting my bed. Sleep took me quickly and I slept wonderfully, through the night.

On waking this morning, there’s rain in the area so the ride is a bit up in the air. It just may be a day off, but only for the rain – the vaccine wouldn’t sideline me a bit. If it dries out, I’ll ride. The soreness in my arm has subsided greatly and I can’t tell how tired I am quite yet, but appears to be the extent of my first shot symptoms. I ran an interwebz scanner over my arm and apparently Bill Gates forgot to load the tracker into my vaccine. Lucky me. I also haven’t lapsed into an autistic ball on the floor or turned into a zombie, thank God. I am, however, thankfully well on the road to normal. I’m expecting a bit of a tougher time after my second shot, but I have no doubt I’ll ride through it. My pharmacist friend did.

My experience may differ from others. I am exceptionally healthy and firmly believe I’ve just hit middle-age at 50. My immune system is, and always has been, excellent. I am slightly overweight, because I love food, but am still on the good side of the Body Mass Index scale. I’m also quite exceptionally fit. While I could drop a few pounds, I have no doubt they’ll be gone before summer hits. Excess weight tends to burn off when you’re riding 200 to 300 miles a week.

UPDATE: Sunday was a little rough. Thankfully, the weather sucked. Cold, windy and raining, so I was quite happy to spend the day lounging around. Unfortunately, I got so much sleep during the day, I found it impossible to fall asleep later that evening. This morning, Monday morning, I simply feel discombobulated and a little sore all over. No fever, just random body pain (mostly in the shoulders) and feeling a little run down. I did show up for work this morning, though I don’t know if I’ll stick it out or just go home and sleep it off.

A Celebratory Stuck 20 Miles

I was home from the office early yesterday. After a rough week and all of four hours of sleep the night before, I was exhausted. I flipped my phone to vibrate, sat on the couch, turned on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives and I was out like a light. Put a fork in me, I was done. I woke up an hour later, somewhere around 3:30 and had to deal with some work, then more work, and a little more, but was ready to prep my bike to ride shortly after 4 – Chuck was on his way home and we were going to ride at 5:15… and that’s when the text came in from my wife.

From Brett (my neighbor across the street): Kroger (one of our local grocery stores’ pharmacy) has COVID shots till 5pm.

I immediately got on their website to try to schedule an appointment but the system was down. I called my wife and asked if they were taking walk-ins. She didn’t know, what she’d forwarded was the only info she had. I thought about it for a second. I don’t like rushing around, and what if I get over there to a madhouse with people milling about? I didn’t want any part of that. Better judgment hit me square in the mouth. Normal is six weeks away (two if I get the J&J version). The politics alone prompted me to get in my car and head over there immediately; politicians messing with my freedom strikes me that way.

There were three people in line ahead of me to fill out paperwork and a bunch already stuck, waiting their 15 minutes. Just as I was about to get my paperwork to fill out, my wife walked in and got in line, too. The line went fast and before I knew it, I was sitting in the chair, thanking the lady who was shooting us up for doing what she was doing (interesting side note, she said giving COVID shots was the nicest she’d ever been treated by people as a pharmacist). A few minutes later, my wife and I were sitting next to each other waiting to make sure we didn’t have a reaction (not even a little one). I think I was in the store for maybe 20 minutes total. I also received my second shot schedule date.

And with that, I was on my way back home. I had just enough time to get ready and head out the door and meet Chuck on the road.

With a full weekend of cycling ahead and 108 miles on the week already, I didn’t “need” much. Also, I don’t know what it does to the vaccine if you get right out and hammer out a big ride a half-hour after you’ve been stuck… I’m sure it wasn’t tested for that. We ended up with an easy 20-miles – and sure enough, in the last three miles I got a few strange muscle pains (left arm, left quad – stuck on the left side) that I’ll attribute to riding immediately after the vaccine.

My arm is quite sore this morning, but that’s the only side-effect I’m feeling. We’ve got a 40-miler on the books before I take my mom to get her second shot (and possibly out to lunch). “Back to normal” is only a couple months away, my friends.

And, for a humorous note in the post, I want you to think about something if you’re against the vaccine: your unwillingness to take the vaccine is the one thing far right and far left extremists agree upon, 100%. Chew on that while I laugh, thinking about the blood rushing to your melon*.

The point is simple; live with your choice. I will mine. And if you think I’m running around with a mask on my face in public for the rest of my life because you want to be protected from the choice you’ve made, you’re completely f***ing nuts. You’ve got six weeks, because once the 30 year-olds get their shots, I’m officially done with this shit.

Get the vaccine or get the virus. Choose.

*For those not familiar with American politics, our far right and far left are a ball of fun. Members of each think the other is comprised entirely of idiots, meanwhile completely lacking the ability to realize they’re side is a bunch of idiots, too. Watching each accuse the other of being stupid is one of the great joys in American political life. Better is when a left-wing extremist catches a whiff of their own arrogant aroma as they’re putting down a right-wing extremist. Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.

Let Tuesday Night In Lennon Commence!

And so it is, with the clocks changing to Daylight Saving Time, we are now in the Central Time Zone and it’s time for Tuesday Night In Lennon to begin again.

As with last year, the cycling club will shy away from sanctioning the ride, but the end of this madness is nigh – May 15th we go back to normal (or, at least that’s the plan as of right now).

I’ve been struggling a little, with which bike to take tonight. Normally, it’d unquestionably be the rain bike, but this spring is a little different. It’ll be on the cool side, for sure, but with a mild north breeze, it will almost make sense to take the Venge. Normally, I wouldn’t balk at taking the 5200, but I’m chubby enough to need the advantage gained by riding the Specialized.

I love having this dilemma, actually. It’s a much better conundrum than, say, “should I eat this grub or that worm?” [are we still allowed to appreciate being advanced enough to not have to eat grubs and worms? I believe so… 🤔🤫. If not, let me know and I’ll invite my friends Smith & Wesson to a squirrel plinking party in the back yard – tastes like chicken].

Anyway, I digress… whatever the case with that lunacy, I’ve registered to get stuck. All hand wringing aside, it’ll be nice to put all this crap in the rearview mirror.

In fact, I really shouldn’t be all that concerned, I suppose. With rare exception, I’ve been back to normal since long before summer, last year.

I even got a haircut regularly once I figured out I could meet my barber at the salon with my tool bag, hang a few pictures and charge her a haircut as my fee – I just gave her a $20 tip. All perfectly legit and legal… construction and home/office improvements were still legal while salons and barbershops being open were not. While everyone else was shaggy and tangled, I was high and tight. The American spirit was ever thus; you can tell me what you want me to do… and I’ll let you know if I’ll comply. If I can find the loophole you politicians will use to skirt your own rules, I will use it too.

So, I have a little laugh when I hear politicians and news personalities who have been holed up in their home for the last year comment on “finally” going back to normal once we’re all vaccinated (sometime in mid-May by the time everyone’s had their “two-week effective” date). I was very close to “back” almost a year ago, and without a vaccine.

Stress, Grinding Teeth at Night, and the Immense Body Pain a Bite Splint Corrects

I’ve, for decades, clenched and ground my teeth at night. I have a stressful job and I’m not going to change that because I make a lot of money for a fella who drank his way out of college long before his degree. I have no doubt my career will be responsible for years off of my life in the end, but the trade-off is worth it and I do what I can to mitigate the damage by living the rest of my life awesomely.

For the longest time I had a very expensive, well made sports bite splint that I wore at night. After having a bridge installed because I’d broken a tooth in half grinding my teeth at night years before, that splint was useless. I bought a two-pack of the set-yourself variety from the local pharmacy but the first one I set was poorly done – my bite was slightly off when I set it so it was less than comfortable by the time I woke up in the morning. Besides, you go from a pro-quality bite splint (the same kind Patrick Mahomes uses) to a boil and bite model, it’s a big fall in quality. I ended up throwing both of them in the trash and going without.

And so it was for a few years. As I’ve cruised through my 40’s, into my early 50’s, life was good. I’m clean and sober, fit, healthy, and happy… but “rise and shine” was more “rise, get moving and loose, then shine”. I put it to “getting old”. My lower back was so sore and stiff on waking I’d have a tough time putting on my fleece pajama pants in the morning (my arms were almost too short). Once I got moving, though, everything was okay.

Then I cracked a tooth grinding at night. Then another. I decided it was time for that second boil and bite, but this time I wouldn’t mess up the bite when I set it. I took my time and nailed it. My jaw is comfortable when I wake in the morning and isn’t out of place or stiff. I wear the splint religiously through the night now.

And that stiffness in my lower back is completely gone. This morning, as I was whipping on my fleece pants I thought, “Wait a second… that shouldn’t have been that easy”. And that’s when it dawned on me… when I wear my bite splint at night, I wake up loose. When I don’t, I’m tight and stiff until I get moving in the morning – I feel my age.

Here are some of the benefits of wearing a bit splint at night I’ve noticed now that I think about it a little bit:

  • I sleep deeper, often through the night
  • Fewer late night trips to the bathroom (say a 50 to 66% reduction)
  • No to vastly less lower back stiffness
  • No shoulder and neck pain on rising in the morning (this was pain I didn’t even know was there till it was gone – it was mild)
  • I feel a decade, maybe more, younger on rising in the morning
  • I wake up fresh

Friends, it’s hard to tell if you grind your teeth. I made the mistake of thinking stress reduction techniques might help – and they did with stress… right up till I chipped another tooth. I tried everything from prayer to positive thinking to relaxation techniques. While they did wonders for my outlook on life and my overall attitude, they didn’t touch my clenching and grinding. Only a bite splint could help with that.

Usually your dentist will be the first to notice you grind your teeth. If that is the case, don’t be like me. Don’t hesitate to do something about it. It won’t “go away”, it’s doubtful mindfulness techniques will work (though they absolutely help with overall attitude), and it will only get worse – especially when your teeth start to crumble. The expensive bite splints many dental establishments will sell are preferable (having had one myself), but even the inexpensive options available at your local pharmacy will correct the problems associated with teeth clenching and grinding if properly set. If you find your jaw uncomfortable on waking, you’ve likely set the bite incorrectly the first time. Try again until you get it right.

Trust me. A good night’s sleep is worth it.

Another Study Links Coffee Drinking to Improved Health; Coffee Drinkers Fein Surprise at One More Study that Shows What We Already Knew: Coffee=Good

Never mind the added benefits having a cup or two do for fitness. Never mind the free-radical eliminating antioxidants. Never mind that there is nothing on Earth that says, “Good morning, sunshine!” like a fresh cup of coffee. We’re way beyond superficial benefits with this post!

Four cups a day is what they say. A little on the light side for me, but not by much. Two in the morning before I get in the shower, two at the office, and one after dinner is my usual. And before you ask, I am a professional. I can fall asleep ten minutes after drinking that evening cup. I’ve done it before, numerous times. Somehow, that last cup of the day says to my body, “Ah, you’re done. Relax.” I know many people don’t work that way and my heart bleeds for you.

There were a couple of benefits that surprised even me in that article, though. Try a 50% reduction in the chance of colorectal cancer, or a 65% lower chance of getting Alzheimer’s, or an 80% reduction in the chance of cirrhosis of the liver (a big deal for we in recovery).

Simply said, coffee is the goods, friends. Drink up.

This has been a public service announcement from Fit Recovery.

Making It Through The Rough Patches In Recovery; It Ain’t Always Easy, But It’s Always Better Than The Alternative.

I’m busier than a one-legged pirate in an ass kicking contest at work, lately.  It seems I go from one thing to the next before crashing at night and waking to do it all over again.  My wife and I have also been dealing with teenage daughter issues as well, and those are never easy.  Thankfully, I’ve usually got a late afternoon, early evening bike ride in there to help keep me level, too.  But, I’m also “keeping my side of the street clean” in the process.  And that’s the most important part.

Of course, compared to facing prison time, let’s just say today’s problems are a lot more manageable when contrasted against my drinking days.  I haven’t got anything going right now that a drink or drug won’t make worse.  The literary use of the double-negative, my friends.  BAM.

One of the things I got right from the beginning was associating relapse – and we’re talking any mood or mind-altering substance – with increased pain and difficulty in life.  That wasn’t too far a stretch, of course, no matter what I tried, that’s always what I ended with.  As difficult as early recovery is, adding drugs and/or (usually “and”) alcohol to a difficult situation will only make it worse.  Escaping from troubles or difficulties never solved them, it only put them off for a time and made them more difficult to grapple with when I finally had to get around to it.

With alcohol and drugs out of the way and not having an escape from my problems, that leaves two choices:  1) Deal with it and work through my problems.  2) Curl up in a ball on the floor.

Well, two isn’t very attractive, so I choose door number one.

Now for the clichés… I do the best I can with what I’ve got and ask my HP for help and guidance through inspiration.  God is either everything or nothing.  Which is it going to be?  This too shall pass, was ever thus.

As long as I remember that nothing in life is permanent, including troubled times, I know I’ll get through this to my next good stretch… and that’s why and how I remain a happily clean and sober guy.  I live my recovery by one rule above all others:  Just don’t f***in’ drink.